Defenders of Wildlife
1130 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 1-800-385-9712

Endangered under Endangered Species Act. Today the eastern timber wolf survives in only three percent of its original home range in the U.S. The largest population exists in northern Minnesota. There are smaller populations in Michigan and Wisconsin. In the northeast U.S. ( New York and New England), wolves have been extinct for 100 years.

Subspecies of the gray wolf, which is the largest member of the canine family and ancestor of the dog. Color ranges: grizzled gray, black, all-white.

Height: 26 to 32 inches at the shoulder. Weight: 55 to 115 pounds. Females are usually slightly smaller.

The eastern timber wolf once ranged from New England Range to the Great Lakes and through southeastern Canada to the Hudson Bay.

Forests, tundra, plains and mountains.

Large, hoofed mammals such as deer and elk and occasionally smaller animals (beavers or rabbits). Wolves generally kill animals that are the easiest to capture -- young, old or diseased ones.

Wolves live in packs, which are complex social structures that include the breeding adult pair (the alpha male and female) and their offspring. Size of the pack varies with the size of available prey. A hierarchy of dominant and subordinate animals within the pack help it to function as a unit. Wolves communicate by scent marking, vocalizations (including howling), facial expressions and body postures.

Wolves mate in January or February. Females give birth two months later to a litter of pups. An average litter is four to seven pups.

With only one large population the chances of extinction due to disease or natural disaster increase. Other threats include illegal hunting, and human persecution.

*CITES, Appendix I (populations of Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan); Appendix II (all other populations). Endangered Species Act

Defenders of Wildlife has been an active supporter of restoration of eastern timber wolves Northeast, as well as continued recovery in the Great Lakes region. * Defenders of Wildlife is funding a scientific study to determine if Adirondack Park in New York can support a reintroduced wolf population. Other reintroduction efforts include red wolf in the southeast, gray wolves into Olympic National Park, and Mexican wolves in the southwest.

* Many scientists believe that the wolves that used to live in the northeastern U.S. are different from those that live in the Great Lakes region. Therefore, it is very important to restore wolves to the northeast

Learn More About Wolves